Home > Uncategorized > Change Changes: The Constant Revolutions of Information, Big Data and Social Life

Change Changes: The Constant Revolutions of Information, Big Data and Social Life

Technological change comes with the parallel pace of commentators identifying the change and with enthusiastic attempts to name the new.

Big data is perhaps the most recent of the revolutionary turns that wants to invent the conditions of its own newness, including writing its own short histories. However, most of modernity can be seen in terms of control and management (of things turned data, a theme that some media scholars such as Bernhard Siegert identify already in the 15th century emergence of double-entry bookkeeping).

Such a media history of management comes out well in such by now “old” classics as James Beniger’s The Control Revolution.

The book, from mid 1980s, also includes a useful list of the enthusiasm for the changes in rhetorics of social and technological change after WWII. The old new and continuous discursive revolutions of social change, technology, information and data merge into an annual cycle of invention of a new turn and concept of change:

Screen Shot 2014-10-08 at 6.50.30 PM

Screen Shot 2014-10-08 at 6.50.42 PM

Fill in the various revolutions post-1984.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Andrew Iliadis
    October 8, 2014 at 5:18 pm

    A great book! Have you read John Durham Peters’ essay length review of that book? It’s pretty interesting: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/08913818708459500

    • October 8, 2014 at 5:20 pm

      have not seen that – will definitely read the review. Peters’ writings are always a joy.

  2. November 14, 2014 at 1:54 am

    Such a fantastic book!
    I feel like Beniger’s concept of “preprocessing” is one of the great, underappreciated theories of our day, and apparently it was his PhD student Clifford Nass that gave him the idea!

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